a little something extra

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Signs of the times

Walking through the Church of What's Happenin' Now, Northern Outpost (COWHNNO) this weekend, I noticed the pastor's office door for the first time. Upon that door was posted a sign -- just a regular piece of 8 1/2 x 11 inch office paper turned landscape-wise, with the following text printed in big black letters that I had no trouble reading without my bifocals on:


The more I learn, the more I like this guy and the church he's affiliated with. His sermon last Sunday consisted of reading a letter he wrote to a Long Beach city attorney, explaining why he refused to cooperate with the city's order that the COWHNNO stop letting homeless citizens sleep in the protected area behind the fence that surrounds the building. Other churches have won lawsuits over the same issue, citing helping the poor as a fundamental expression of their religious beliefs, thus protected by the Constitution and the laws that support it.

At the end of the sermon, the congregation stood up and applauded. Thing was, the sermon wasn't theatrical. It was passionate and clearly stated, but there were no histrionics. So I believe that the standing ovation was an expression of full concurrence and support of his decision on behalf of the church, not an overflowing of emotion based on his performance of the sermon.

Here's a link to a short statement he wrote describing liberal Christian theology as he understands it and the COWHNNO tends to practice it.


At 6:53 PM , Blogger Cristopher said...

for what it's worth, I agree with about...95% of Jerry's statement. Maybe 99%. But you knew that I was, in the words of many San Antonio residents, "a damn liberal."

At 7:27 PM , Blogger meeegan said...

Yep, and I can hear it in that central Texas accent, too.

I disagree with some of the statement too, but agree with far more of it.

For example, I don't know that I find MORE value in questions than in answers. That's a little apples vs. oranges -- the value of questions, in my experience, is DIFFERENT from the value of answers, but both are valuable.

I'm also not fully on board with the complete cessation of mind and body at death. But I know I'll find out when I get there, and if I'm wrong, I expect I'll be able to deal with that. :-)

At 7:46 PM , Blogger Tripp Hudgins said...

Good stuff, Megan. The UCC is an interesting body of believers.

At 11:15 PM , Blogger meeegan said...

Why do you say so?

At 5:05 AM , Blogger Tripp Hudgins said...

Well, I like many of their stances on issues of human sexuality and political involvement...and I like their (sometimes) more traditional liturgy. I took several PhD level courses for my liturgy masters and was alway surprised to find the UCC well represented in the Liturgy program.

And, more personally, Trish and I have good friends who are UCC pastors (and spouses of pastors). They never fail to amaze me.

And, if it matters at all, it is not uncommon for ABC and UCC congregations to call ministers from one another's traditions. If Wilmette had not found me, I likely would have started looking at UCC congregations.

At 7:55 AM , Blogger meeegan said...

That's interesting. As strongly as you feel about being a Baptist, I'm surprised to hear that you would have chosen to seek a call outside of the Baptist community. Definitely one to file under "you learn something new every day!" :-)

At 6:52 PM , Blogger Benjamin said...

What a lovely set of statements - sounds very Jewish to me!

A question : if a person doesn't believe that Jesus was the son of God and was therefore God his-own-self, are they Christians, strictly speaking? If I read these statement correctly, that's what seems to be implied; that Jesus was a good teacher, and not divine.

Did I read that properly? If Jesus doesn't isn't the linchpin of being a Christian, then what is?


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